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I Hate the Sci Fi Channel

Category: Rants and Raves

Published March 18, 2009

So the Sci Fi Channel has decided to change its name. On one hand, I really don’t care. It’s not like the name has a direct effect on the content of the network. On the other hand, this is the latest symptom of a long-running problem.

The simple fact is that, despite the network’s constant proclamations that they give the fans what they want, the Sci Fi Channel has never given consistent support to their best and most-watched shows. Although they always seem to ensure they have at least one or two flagship, quality dramas, pretty much everything else on the network is dreck. For every Battlestar Galactica, there’s also such execrable programs as Tremors: The Series and Who Wants to be a Superhero?.

And of course, just when a show gets interesting, or seems to be at its peak quality, the network decides it has to cancel it. I propose a new verb be added to the lexicon: to Farscape. It should mean: “to prematurely and unexpectedly end or cancel a project or undertaking, esp. one that is highly successful or well-regarded.” They seem to Farscape a lot of shows at the Sci Fi Channel.

I’ve got this mental image of what goes on behind the scenes at the headquarters of the Sci Fi Channel:

INT. BOARDROOM
It looks strangely like an ancient Roman forum.
EXECUTIVE Fellow executives, shall we keep churning out cheap and lame Saturday-afternoon specials to try to boost the ratings, or should we aspire to a worthier goal and make quality, entertaining programs for the fans? What say you?
The executives all stand, raise their fists, and shout:
OTHER EXECUTIVES Fuck the fans!

(With apologies to Mel Brooks.)

Sadly, despite everything, I admit that refusing to watch any programming on the Sci Fi Channel wouldn’t do any good. The programs will still be produced. I never, ever watch anything on the channel other than the shows that I’m directly interested in. I also like to purchase my shows on DVD or via iTunes, to avoid the traditional channels. But none of that is really going to change how Sci Fi operates. And if there are a couple of good shows on the channel, why not watch them? (At least until they’re cancelled in their prime.)

All this ranting doesn’t even touch how frakking awful the name “Syfy” is. But a few other people have already pointed that out.

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